Skip to main content

Meet King Joe

Movies Preview

movies
Meet King Joe


Published 1949


Cold War cartoon aimed at American workers with the objective of convincing them of their good fortune.


Run time 9:26
Producer Sutherland (John) Productions, Inc.
Sponsor Harding College, Extension Department / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Audio/Visual Sd, C

Shotlist

Presents 'KING JOE' as the average American working man who, by virtue of his high wages and short hours, is king of the world's workers.
Ken Smith sez: "American labor, management and capital -- the greatest production team in the history of mankind -- have made the United States the industrial master of the world."
This theatrical cartoon is one of the "fun and facts about America" series, made "to create a deeper understanding of what has made America the finest place in the world to live." Actually, it was financed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, created by the chairman of General Motors, and its message in the labor-unruly late forties is clear. Joe, who wears overalls and talks with a pseudo-Brooklyn accent, is "king of the workers of the world" NOT because he is worthy, but because the machinery in his factory "multiplies strength and efficiency." This is part of "the "American way of doing things," the narrator tells us. We also learn that Joe is "king" not because he can exert power over anything (union rabble-rousers take note), but because "he can buy more with his wages than any other worker on the globe." Joe dutifully goes on a shopping spree to demonstrate.
As proof that the American system is the most wonderful on earth, the narrator informs us that Americans own 72% of the cars in the world, 92% of the bathtubs, and "practically all the refrigerators in existence." In the end, Joe sits atop a giant machine that spits out futuristic cars, TVs and washing machines at the yank of a lever. While America The Beautiful plays underneath, the narrator sums up the attitude industrial America was pushing: "Labor and management must continue to increase the production of better goods at lower prices so that more people will be able to buy the things that make life easier and happier for all of us."
A well-financed Technicolor cartoon.


<BR>

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: LuciusBrutus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 13, 2007
Subject: Had to work 69 hours a week.
Living in California if I want to pay the bills without assistance I would have to work about 100 hours a week just to break even. If my current boss would even give me 100 hours of work, which he wouldn't.

Can I have a time machine please so I can make wagon parts?

Also with globalization the entire world has access to all these tools. So now what happens? With cheap labor and the tools of America being used by foreigners Americans labor is out of business. At least for the next 20 or so years. It's why only the service sector is looking for labor but that might not last forever with lower incomes.

The system does work if it stays within our market but it seems to fail when we allow market arbitrage. So now the corporatists of society have gained great leverage and are using cheap labor to make massive profits at America's expense, which translates directly into our national debt. Sure hope we figure this mess out soon before we lose our liberty in the name of global big business.
Reviewer: bread - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 20, 2006
Subject: Great Name, Little Else.
I found this film unconvincing. It's attempts at showing how americans live better are lame and unconvincing. The story is dull, and the entertainment value is low. The humor is very unfunny. However, It's beautifully animated, and has plenty of historic value. I was disappointed by this cartoon. If you like these old propaganda cartoons, you might want to download this, But dont expect much.

Historical interest: 4/5, Fun factor 2/5, "I cant believe I found it" factor 3/5, Stupidity factor 5/5, animation 4/5. Final comment: Historically interesting but dull.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 8, 2003
Subject: I just can't wait to be king!
Very nicely animated cartoon about Joe, king of the workers, who gets paid more then other workers in other lands, can make his dollar stretch more, and have more leisure time! Not like those darn coolies in China! I liked the silly jokes and the characterization (except the racism) in this one. The story of how you should be proud to be an American is a bit pompous, but it's fun. Reccomended!
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 3, 2003
Subject: Ultimate capitalist cartoon
Produced by Harding College before their more ridiculous... excuse me... serious... films, this cartoon is the best example of cartoon capitalism versus socialism. America has more bathtubs, and this proves that the American cooperation of capital, labor, and management is what makes America great and makes the average American Joe "the king of the workers of the world".
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 17, 2002
Subject: Meet King Joe
This animated film tries to explain to labor why the capitalist American system is the best in the world. A buffoonish everyworker named Joe (who looks an awful lot like Private Snafu) is patiently told by the narrator that he enjoys the best standard of living in the world, no thanks to him, but thanks to the capitalist system. The film is actually quite insulting to workers and it strongly implies that they have no right to complain about their wages or working conditions in any way. If I were trying to forment communist revolution, I wouldn't bother making my own propaganda filmsÂÂI'd just show workers Meet King Joe. In fact, the communists didn't have to botherÂÂapparently this film was shown regularly to workers in many plants during their lunch hour.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on An American Retrospective Through Animation.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Prelinger Archives
by Sutherland (John) Productions
movies
eye 255,278
favorite 144
comment 35
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 35 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Sutherland (John) Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 111,693
favorite 29
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Animation Shorts
by John Sutherland
movies
eye 26,973
favorite 13
comment 6
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 6 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Sutherland (John) Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 126,181
favorite 32
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Sutherland (John) Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 46,854
favorite 71
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Fotovox, Inc.
movies
eye 15,099
favorite 12
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Wilding Picture Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 12,916
favorite 20
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Sutherland (John) Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 91,089
favorite 3
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Wilding Picture Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 20,622
favorite 37
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Sutherland (John) Productions
movies
eye 32,804
favorite 28
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )